This study examined the prevalence of, and factors associated with, men’s interest in seeking treatment for use of pornography.
Using an Internet-based data-collection procedure, we recruited 1,298 male pornography users to complete questionnaires assessing demographic and sexual behaviors, hypersexuality, pornography-use characteristics, and current interest in seeking treatment for use of pornography.
Approximately 14% of men reported an interest in seeking treatment for use of pornography, whereas only 6.4% of men had previously sought treatment for use of pornography. Treatment-interested men were 9.5 times more likely to report clinically significant levels of hypersexuality compared with treatment-disinterested men (OR = 9.52, 95% CI = 6.72–13.49). Bivariate analyses indicated that interest-in-seeking-treatment status was associated with being single/unmarried, viewing more pornography per week, engaging in more solitary masturbation in the past month, having had less dyadic oral sex in the past month, reporting a history of seeking treatment for use of pornography, and having had more past attempts to either “cut back” or quit using pornography completely. Results from a binary logistic regression analysis indicated that more frequent cut back/quit attempts with pornography and scores on the Hypersexual Behavior Inventory – Control subscale were significant predictors of interest-in-seeking-treatment status.
Discussion and conclusions
Study findings could be used to inform current screening practices aimed at identifying specific aspects of sexual self-control, impulsivity, and/or compulsivity associated with problematic use of pornography among treatment-seeking individuals.
This study employed a newly developed questionnaire to evaluate whether men’s self-efficacy to avoid using pornography in each of 18 emotional, social, or sexually arousing situations was associated with either their typical frequency of pornography use or their hypersexuality.
Using an Internet-based data collection procedure, 229 male pornography users (Mage = 33.3 years, SD = 12.2) who had sought or considered seeking professional help for their use of pornography completed questionnaires assessing their situationally specific self-efficacy, history of pornography use, self-efficacy to employ specific pornography-reduction strategies, hypersexuality, and demographic characteristics.
Frequency of pornography use was significantly negatively associated with level of confidence in 12 of the 18 situations. In addition, lower hypersexuality and higher confidence to employ pornography-use-reduction strategies were associated with higher confidence to avoid using pornography in each of the 18 situations. A principal axis factor analysis yielded three clusters of situations: (a) sexual arousal/boredom/opportunity, (b) intoxication/locations/easy access, and (c) negative emotions.
Discussion and conclusions
This questionnaire could be employed to identify specific high-risk situations for lapse or relapse and as a measure of treatment outcome among therapy clients, but we recommend further examination of the psychometric properties and clinical utility of the questionnaire in treatment samples. Because only one of the three clusters reflected a consistent theme, we do not recommend averaging self-efficacy within factors to create subscales.
To address current gaps around screening for problematic pornography use (PPU), we initially developed and tested a six-item Brief Pornography Screen (BPS) that asked about PPU in the past six months.
Methods and Participants
We recruited five independent samples from the U.S. and Poland to evaluate the psychometric properties of the BPS. In Study 1, we evaluated the factor structure, reliability, and elements of validity using a sample of 224 U.S. veterans. One item from the BPS was dropped in Study 1 due to low item endorsement. In Studies 2 and 3, we further investigated the five-item the factor structure of the BPS and evaluated its reliability and validity in two national U.S. representative samples (N = 1,466, N = 1,063, respectively). In Study 4, we confirmed the factor structure and evaluated its validity and reliability using a sample of 703 Polish adults. In Study 5, we calculated the suggested cut-off score for the screen using a sample of 105 male patients seeking treatment for compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD).
Findings from a principal components analysis and confirmatory factor analysis supported a one-factor solution which yielded high internal consistency (α = 0.89–0.90), and analyses further supported elements of construct, convergent, criterion, and discriminant validity of the newly developed screen. Results from a Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) curve suggested a cut-off score of four or higher for detecting possible PPU.
The BPS appears to be psychometrically sound, short, and easy to use in various settings with high potential for use in populations across international jurisdictions.